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tv   Our World With Black Enterprise  FOX  April 26, 2015 5:00am-5:31am PDT

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♪ welcome to "our world with black enterprise." this week our special 2015 auto show coverage showcasing the hottest cars coming off the assembly line. first up, we check in with bmw ceo on catering to today's drivers. >> it has four wheel drive. and internal combustion engine in the rear.
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>> and we'll introduce you to a successful auto dealer on a new mission to make a difference in his industry. >> i think it will be very difficult for minorities of the future to get into business without there being some help to have access to capital. that would be one of the number one issues that >> then the gm design whiz brings us the wow factors you will soon see in your car. >> everything is changing. everything will have the look, the smell, the feel, that you see in this vehicle. >> everything. >> finally, we look at how to drive up diversity within the ranks of auto dealers. >> diversity is an imperative and it will become the majority -- the population of 2043. this is the business so we have to act now. >> there's what's happening in our world, up next.
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welcome back to "our world with black enterprise." it's clear that high-tech is driving innovation in the auto industry. but as we learn from bmw ceo, the key to a model success is still finding out exactly what a driver wants. the sensors here, i'm assuming they're front sensors that i see. this is a front camera. >> yeah. >> an incredibly smart car here. >> who is the bmw driver? >> well, you can't really say there is one bmw driver but what they have all in common is that they want to have fun trying it. they don't want to get from "a" to "b," they don't want just a means of transport. they want more of a -- an emotional drive. that's what we deliver. >> i'm curious about the drivers today of yesteryear. how is bmw accommodating the
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needs of today's driver, the modern driver? >> well, what has changed is the sensation fore -- for fuel economy. even though gas prices are down, you see that many people are concerned about the environment. so people do care about their -- about that so that's changed. we have emission in 2007, a new set of engines and technology that is especially focusing on fuel economy i.e. emissions. if you look at the super car behind me, which does everything the super car should do, including looking great, but it has 72 miles to the gallon. >> talk about how fast this car is. how fast is it? >> well, the first thing is because it's so light and has
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four wheel drive, electric motor at the front, internal combustion engine in the rear it does 0 to 60 in 2 seconds. >> what do you think we'll see a mass transition to electric cars, if ever? >> well, i think the share of electric cars will grow, but the next step will be as far as technology is plug-in hybrid. so we will introduce over the next couple of years plug in hybrid version of all the major models. so a customer can actually charge this car at home, drive electrically for the local errands but have a -- an internal combustion engine for long distance drive. >> okay. so you said the driver would be driving. now, i know that self-driving cars is supposed to be what we're getting in the future, right? when do you believe that we will see that mass transition to
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driving -- >> i think it should be a different interpretation to self-driving with different brands. obviously as we discussed earlier on, bmw driver wants to be engaged in driving. he wants to have that experience driving. so only when he's not really having fun driving i.e., when he's in a traffic situation or if he wants to park, then obviously technology can take over and he can do something else. >> okay. now i know also that bmw -- when i think of bmw i think of corporate diversity and inclusion as a part of the social responsibility of bmw. what are some of the initiatives you're most proud of that you rolled out under that umbrella? >> first of all, we look at diversity from as broad a spectrum as we can be. look at our staff and see that it's about having different views on the same topic and come to the best solutions and we are really great at doing that. >> absolutely. absolutely. so last thing i want to talk
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about is the design. i think that your cars are beautifully designed. i'm trying to stay focus on you but i keep drifting to the i-8 behind you. it's beautiful. what inspires the design of the bmw? >> well, it's a combination of great design, but also function. bmw should have a combination of great design and functionality. for example, if you now look at the i-8 behind me, the initial shape is that of a water drop, because the water drop is a natural form that people have not been able to improve. if you take the rear spoiler off you see it basically has the shape of a water drop. >> fascinating. what's your favorite model of the bmw? >> the car that won the 12 hours of sebring. >> okay. so i just pull it open here -- wow. you're right. my 4-year-old son could do that.
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>> when we come back, this auto dealer takes on a new role in life. stay with us. i have a video i want you to watch and no matter what i need you to stay focused. don't take your eyes off of the screen. sfx: drill noise. sfx: puppies barking. wrestlers: ahhh!! grrr!!! owwweee! it's hard to stay focused. text message alerts from chevy let you send a text response at the touch of a button ... so you can focus on driving. this will make it a little easier to keep my eye on the road. its amazing. ♪ vo: after years of being treated like she was invisible, it occurred to mindy she might actually be invisible. ♪ but mindy was actually not invisible. ooh, what are you doing? can you see me? she had just always been treated that way. yeah. you don't have to look at me like that. there are worst things than an attractive woman touching your body. i'll go.
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join the nation that sees you as a priority. ♪ nationwide is on your side if you're not alone.wn at bedtime,
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get non-habit forming unisom to fall asleep fast. unisom. a stressful day deserves a restful night. welcome back to "our world with black enterprise." our entrepreneur of the week built a prestigious luxury car dealership in northern indiana that ranks number 55 on the b.e. 100 auto list. we have more on the man in the driver's seat. >> harry watson the ceo of lexus knows the auto business. he's build his company into the largest black owned auto dealership in northern indiana. he remembers what inspired him. >> the classmate of mine in college got into the car business. he was in a general motors minority dealer program and he
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came by the house and he told me he had gotten a dealership. my wife and i had always wanted to go into business. we went to his grand opening. we sat up that night and said, you know, if he can do it as a mechanical engineer, she and i were both in sales, we can do this. >> he spent two years in a minority training program, then struggled through a pretty steep learning curve during his early years in the industry. >> the dealership i inherited at the time was losing half a million dollars. so i ended up having to restructure, rename the dealership. attract employees. in a town that i never had been in and it was one humbling circumstance. but through it all, persevered. >> lexus drove in revenues of more than $27 million in 2014 with a staff of 35. for this b.e. 100 ceo, there's some very clear keys to success no matter what business you're in. >> one of the most important things i learned as a leader is
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that i'm responsible for the culture and setting the tone. and also, because i didn't grow up in a car business, i was able to rely on others. there's a difference between running a business and running a business. i could rely on others to -- that i put in place to really make good decisions. >> but building an auto business can still be a challenge for minority entrepreneurs. of the 18,000 new car dealers in the u.s., only 1,100 are minority owners. some 700 minority owned dealerships were wiped out in the recent economic down turn. in the new role as chairman of the national association of minority automobile dealers, watson is determined to change that. >> i think it will be very difficult for minorities of the future to get into business without there being some help to have access to capital. and that would be one of the number one issues that i tackle.
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and we have to be creative. meaning we have to do partnerships. use venture capital. and use all of the other methods that other business people, no other industries are using to acquire more dealerships and to expand. >> and while watson stepped into the new role, his son helps the family business step into the future. >> i think social media in our industry has a special place. i think it's a huge opportunity to create a personality for your dealership. to talk about your community service actions. maybe new product that's coming. a chance to tell the story of, you know, employees and it will be a critical element in terms of promoting dealerships, promoting the industry and you can touch a lot of people. >> for his son and other entrepreneurs, watson, sr., has insight into what it takes to keep a business running well. >> some days you're on top. some days you're down. but staying focused and staying hungry, staying humble, making
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sure your team is keeping up with you are. >> still to come, we'll meet a gm executive who is designing cars of the future. you don't want to miss this. ou do you regularly do you wear underwear? (laugh) yeah yes (laugh) i never wear underwear. is that too much information? yes now, do you think you can get too much information from your car?
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no this is an email from my car. there are 100s of diagnostics that the vehicle gathers and sends to me. does anyone want to meet the sender of this email? this is a 2015 chevy malibu. i love it.
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welcome back. innovation is what fuels the auto industry. and this designer is one of the executives who keeps cars on the cutting edge. ♪ >> a little bit -- tell us about your background. because i knew when you were a little boy, right, that's the story that i read, you knew this is what you wanted to do. >> kind of -- a true story. i have been crazy about cars all my life. been drawing them since i was like 2 1/2. crazy about cars i went to the
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philadelphia auto show at age 8 and i saw a concept car, a dream car. i told my parents i will work for that company when i grow up. so i have been in touch with general motors, ever since. i written them letters -- >> when you were 8 years old? >> my first letter i wrote to general motors i was 11. i found out where they designed the hot cars so i wrote them a letter. they responded, gave me great information. >> okay. >> i just followed their lead. >> so this is a literally a dream job for you? >> yeah. it is. in many ways. in many ways. i mean, you know, i have so much fun doing what i do. seriously. it's not easy. it's tough. but it's fun. >> so what is it that you do exactly? it's more than just the design. >> yeah. yeah. i'm responsible for the design of all general motors products globally. >> okay. >> and, you know, there are many brands of general motors around the world. there's buick, cadillac,
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chevrolet, gmc, opal, holden, wooling, faw -- i mean, millions of these cars built in china and australia and brazil and it's ten design centers around the world. i have 2,600 people who work for me. it's the largest designer organization not just in the auto industry, but just about any industry. >> incredible. so the work you're doing is absolutely phenomenal. because we're standing in front of this, this is one of my favorite cars at the show. this is a concept car. >> it's purely a concept. >> i can't buy it? >> it's purely a concept, but hopefully it will go into production. i think this car really represents in a very positive way the work we're doing in the buick studio right now. everything is changing. everything will have the look, the smell, the feel, that you see in this vehicle.
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>> everything. >> so let's take a look. >> sure. >> can i get in and drive? >> no, you can't drive it. >> i can't drive it? >> i'll let you get behind the wheel. >> all right. let's see. >> have a seat. >> let's see. let me get in. >> you don't -- i'll tell you, you know what's my first impression? just how minimalistic the car is. >> well, you know, it's funny you say that. it's my design philosophy that the real timeless design is clean and simple and very well crafted. and when you do very complex designs, it's more like fad and not fashion. it's great for the moment, but over time it gets dated quickly. >> what is your inspiration behind your design? you talked about designing since you were 2 1/2 years old. what inspires you to do this work? >> well, number one, i just had this passion for automobiles. i've got this love affair with automobiles i have had all my life.
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i drove inspiration from the great classics for these brands. this car was very much inspired by classic buick concepts. also drew a lot of inspiration from the fashion industry. product design. other consumer goods, what's happening with electronics. that can have an influence on what we're doing in our interiors and all points of art -- music has a big deal. i mean, music -- i have to have music when i'm working. >> so when you think about design, do you think -- i'm sure you think about the consumer. are these cars designed for women versus men? how do you determine or what characteristics of the car match the sex of the consumer? >> it depends on the vehicle you're working on. is it more geared towards women or men, and that can be dangerous. because you know trends kind of shift. and, you know, i like to spend time with both. really getting in their heads
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what they're looking for in their vehicle. this vehicle it may be skewed a little bit towards men. but, you know, not all men are alike. not all women are alike. you know, an awful lot of women like very masculine cars. so it's just -- you know, it's just really, really getting into the heads and understanding what they want in the car. >> so here's my only -- i only have one issue with this car. where's the cup holders? that is my only issue. when we come back, why it's important to increase minority dealerships within the auto industry. stay with us.
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edition of "our world with black enterprise." there is still few black owned auto dealerships in the company. we look at this dilemma with damon lester, the president of the national association of minority automobile dealers. damon, i know that you're the president of the national association of minority automobile dealers. >> yes. >> now tell us, what does that role mean? >> basically we represent all ethnic minority all new car dealerships in the united states. there's currently 1800 new car dealers and 12,000 are latinos and african-american. that's less than 250, 260 are african-american owned dealerships.
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>> that's small. >> that's small when you look at the number of african-americans buying new cars and trucks. for example, 17 million vehicles sold last year. about 10% were purchased by an african-american. >> so we represent about 1.8, close to 2 million that are purchased. >> correct. >> then we represent an abysmal rate as it comes to dealership owners. >> yes. >> why is that the case? >> you know, it's been an age old issue for us. we were founded back in 1980 as a result of the carter bailout of chrysler. and at that point, african-american dealers were about 150, 160. so as a result, and our peek we were at 2005, 2006, african-american dealers excited 500 and and then tanked quite a bit in the recession as well as the bailout of general motors and chrysler. so we lost 30% as a result of the down turn. >> what can someone do if
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they're interested? contact your association? >> contact our association. our association is on the web. you can obtain information from there on how to buy a vehicle. specifically if you're interested in the industry as an investor. we can put you in touch with dealer operators but that's what we do. we help provide opportunities and work with all the manufacturers in the united states trying to figure out ways to increase the minority dealerships. >> so you as president of the association, what do you hope to be your legacy? >> i hope to one, be able to be part of creating a next generation footprint. to provide our next coming dealers or future dealers with opportunities. and less of a struggle that their mothers and fathers have had. >> absolutely. >> be able to have the association and be more of a larger global footprint. to be able to affect change in the entire automobile industry. ic we have done a -- i think we
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have done a good job of figuring out ways from a legislative standpoint, we're dealing with manufacturers and automobile partners to come one ways that diversity is imperative and will become a majority in 2043. we have to act now. >> damon thank you for enlightening me. i had no idea about those numbers and i will remember what you said, we need to act now. thank you. that does it for this edition of "our world with black enterprise." be sure to visit us on the web at black world. you can like us on facebook and follow me on twitter at paul c. bronson/our world tv. thanks for watching. see you next week.
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